How Big Is 1μm?

When designers and manufacturing companies specify surface finishes more often than not we’re talking in micrometres (µm), but what exactly is a µm?

1 µm is 0.001mm or one thousandth of one millimetre.  In other words it is a very fine measurement and as such it can be hard to comprehend.  So the best way to understand it for many of us is to compare it to everyday things we’d know, such as a cigarette paper, human hair, paperclip wire or needle.

This image from our partners Haas illustrates how these items measure up and what a µm equates to in comparison.   For more details on their range of machining centres please visit their website at: http://www.haas-schleifmaschinen.de/en/

In comparison to microinches (written as µin or µ”) 1 µm = approximately 40 µ”.  1 µ” being equal to one millionth of an inch (0.000001”).  (So a 15µm surface finish = 600µ” and a 320µ” surface finish = 8µm as examples of conversions).

To understand more about surface reading types and how they are calculated, please see our post on A Guide to Understanding Surface Roughness Measurement Types

 

Post written by
Stephen Lewis-Brammer
General Manager

 

 

 

 

The Reasons Why Super Finishing Enhances Component Performance

Super Finishing removes the asperities that are inherent in the manufacturing process. By safely removing these microscopic peaks, the Super Finishing process leaves a much more uniform surface that reduces friction and allows for increased lubrication capability.  While the dimensional integrity of the part remains intact, the result is an improved component that will operate at lower temperatures, have increased durability, quieter operation and increased time between maintenance.

 Better surface properties on gear teeth and other functional surfaces are responsible for:

  • reducing friction and wear;
  • reducing operating temperature, even at high speeds;
  • eliminating any need for ‘run in’ time and reducing the risk of component failure at the initial stages of its life;
  • reduction of vibration and noise within the unit, again increasing its marketability and improving its performance;
  • cleaner lubricant as a result of reduced component wear producing ‘debris’ to pollute the component’s working environment (resulting again in shortening the component life span);

Continue reading The Reasons Why Super Finishing Enhances Component Performance